April Showers - Part Eleven


Edwardian Gold-Plated Cufflinks with Engraved Radiant Floral Centers (LEO Design)


In honor of the Spring, we are sharing some of our florally-inspired items over the next several days.  Enjoy the season—including the flowers which delightfully distinguish the Spring.

A stylized, engraved flower radiates from the faces of these gold-plated cufflinks, made around the Turn-of-the-Twentieth-Century.  To get such precise and clean engraving, jewelers used a "lathe" to create what was called "machine turning."  The piece of jewelry, in this case a cufflink, was mounted to a precise (and deliberate) rotating arm.  There was also a sharp, cutting tool (to provide the engraving) which usually could only move back and forth in a line.  The combination of rotation (of the cufflink) and the skillful manipulation of the cutting tool (for engraving) created the etched pattern, called guilloché.  Here is an interesting video of of machine-turning at work in the jewelry workshop of Victor Mayer (click here).

Guilloché (machine-turned) engraving is used on all manner of jewelry and fine metal work.  It is also used on printing plates to make fancy, scrolling decoration and borders.  When used in the printing of currency or valuable stock certificates, this high-level engraving would make the bills (or certificates) harder to counterfeit.

Foster & Bailey was founded in 1878.  They operated in Providence, Rhode Island—a center of American jewelry manufacture in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.  Their products were well-made and well-regarded, even in their day.  Today, Foster & Bailey is sought by jewelry collectors.  Click on the photo above to learn more about them.

More Springtime flowers tomorrow.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com)

We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248